Bali Gay Travel
Thanks to their cultural openness, Bali is the most gay-friendly place in Indonesia. Read on for Bali gay travel experiences, nightlife & where to stay.
The Gay Travel Experience: Bali, Indonesia
Bali has experienced explosive tourism over the past decade and it is no longer an island known to few. For context, Bali is building a brand-new airport to cope with the intense traffic around Denpasar.
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Gay Bali: Where to Stay
Where to Stay in South Bali
I highly recommend staying in the Jimbaran area. Jimbaran is quieter and comprised of mainly resorts. Beaches are more tranquil compared to neighboring Kuta and other areas north of the airport. While in South Bali, I stayed a couple of nights at the Four Seasons Jimbaran.
Without a doubt, the Bali Four Seasons Jimbaran was the most magical hotel I have ever stayed in. If you can get a deal here, you won’t regret it. The resort has every single detail and process perfected. I couldn’t help but smile everywhere I went.
It takes a lot for me to dislike an area, but is was downright frustrating to walk around in Kuta. Constantly bombarded by men asking if I wanted to rent a motorbike or receive a massage, I found myself avoiding the town center at all costs. Literally, every 10 seconds I had to avoid eye contact.
Where to Stay in Central Bali
Ubud is a fantastic place to stay. You can find relative seclusion here, with the convenience of having a vibrant central town where locals are cheerful. I stayed in an adorable and spacious guesthouse called Bali Home 68, which was also super-affordable. It was only a five-minute walk to the town’s main road.
Bali Experiences for the Gay Traveler
If you happen to be in Bali during a full moon or new moon, go visit one of the larger temples near you in the early evening to see some large local celebrations. During these times, women dress up in even more extravagant Balinese traditional outfits. Cheerful locals flood the streets as they finish up their temple festivities.
Things to Do in South Bali (& What to Avoid)
Head to Dewi Sri Food Center for cheap, tasty local food! This place is filled with locals each evening. Pork belly, chicken satay and other Southeast Asian mainstays await!
Avoid Kuta Beach at all costs. I truly wonder why tourists come to this beach. It is filled with trash and aggressive children trying to sell bracelets. Instead, I recommend heading to Pantai Plix, a spot where the locals hang! About 30 minutes south of Kuta, Pantai Plix is a small cliff where you can enjoy a serene view.
Things to Do in Ubud & Central Bali
Bali Gay Travel: More Things to Do
Many travelers in Bali book very cozy accommodations that meld in the surrounding landscape. I’m sure you’ve seen these fairytale-like resorts on Instagram and wondered where they are. Most of these places are up north.
Bali Gay Bars & Nightlife
Most bars in Bali are clustered in Kuta. There are plenty of bars and even a few establishments frequented by the gay community. I chose not to spend any time in Bali gay bars though as the area was filled with tourists and it was raining every night.
Mixwell Bar Bali is the tourist favorite gay bar. I cannot give an opinion on Mixwell Bar though since I didn’t stop by. If you’ve been, send wolfyy an email and let me know how it was!
Bali Gay Travel Tips
If you are traveling with your significant other, there should be no problem with sharing one bed in a single room. Many resorts, especially western hotels, will recognize and accommodate gay couples as they would any other couple. The tourism in Bali is definitely used to people of all walks of life.
While in Ubud, I lost my debit card, unable to pull out cash. I quickly learned that most of Bali is a cash-only society. Especially while in Ubud and the north of the island, make sure you have enough cash on hand.
Pretty much every establishment is cash-only in this area no matter how modern they appear. Just a tip: keep a backup card(s) in a separate spot in case something happens!
What’s the Best Season for Bali Gay Travel?
I visited Bali during the rainy season and I still loved it! Wet season in Bali is from October to April. The rest of the months are relatively dry. Even during the wet season, there are still some clear days.
Gay Ubud: Tips for Visiting
If you are seeking total seclusion, you should be aware of the fact that Ubud is still quite bustling in the town center. When I visited, I thought it would have been quieter along the main stretch, but the roads are busy!
Using Taxis in Bali
Here’s a tip for a great conversation starter with your local taxi driver. Ask them about how they make their daily offering baskets. You will see these cute hand-made creations everywhere while walking around
When getting a taxi at the airport, use the curbside registered local taxi stand. They will give you the cheapest price. The storefront inside the airport will charge you triple the fair price and the local guys standing by the exit will charge you at least double.
Indonesia Gay Life
Bali specifically is not anti-gay. As mentioned in the beginning of this guide, people here have much more liberal beliefs, stemming from their Balinese-Hindu practices. The gay community is well-tolerated in Bali, although the government still does not afford them any specific discrimination protections.
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